This condiment can be used to jazz up any prepared food, or use it as a stand-in for fresh garlic or chile peppers (or both) when marinating proteins or creating curry. With heat, acid and umami, it packs a punch. Our favorite use is on grilled tofu lettuce wraps. We like the more vibrant color that red Thai bird's eye chiles give the sauce, but green chiles work just as well., August 2022


Credit: Ryan Liebe

Recipe Summary

20 mins
20 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Carefully, while wearing rubber gloves, remove and discard chile stems. Slice the chiles thinly. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chiles and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to soften but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and salt; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. 

  • Meanwhile, combine water, lime juice, fish sauce and coconut sugar in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cook until the liquid has reduced and the aromatics are softened, about 5 minutes.

  • Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until well combined (use caution when blending hot ingredients). Refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes (and up to 4 days), before serving. For longer storage, freeze for up to 6 months.

To make ahead

Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Nutrition Facts

1 1/2 tsp.
24 calories; carbohydrates 2g; sugars 1g; added sugar 1g; fat 2g; mono fat 1g; poly fat 1g; vitamin a iu 26IU; vitamin c 3mg; vitamin e iu 1IU; folate 2mg; vitamin k 2mg; sodium 208mg; calcium 5mg; magnesium 6mg; phosphorus 5mg; potassium 29mg; selenium 1mcg.